Addiction Test & Exam Taking Strategies

December 19, 2011

Tests are stressful and we’re often asked how to do well on an upcoming quiz or exam. After all, our students take tests both during class and once they complete our classes. They continue on to take tests administered by the various certification boards around the country. Is there a secret to taking tests? Not really. Rather, the importance is in how you prepare. And it’s mostly common sense that in most cases would come easily to us. But the stress of the looming exam gets in the way. Those who believe they are bad test takers may take some comfort in knowing that taking a test the right way, may overcome that fear of failure.

Over the Course of the Year:

  • It goes without saying that excellent preparation starts in class. Learning the information in parts, during class, is far easier than cramming the night before the test. Plus it gives you some time to ask questions of your peers and instructors.
  • Study groups are similarly useful in helping students prepare for tests.
  • Memorization is necessary, but understanding the root of the concept will maker you a better test taker and a better addiction professional. If for some reason a concept doesn’t seem to make sense, ask your instructor before you take the test.

Just Before the Test

  • Take a study course to encapsulate all the information you’ve learned over the course of a year. It will help jog your memory.
  • Don’t stay up all night studying and cramming. A good night’s sleep is a key to good test taking.
  • Create a checklist of items to bring to the exam.
  • Eat a good solid breakfast before the test.

During the Test

  • Come prepared with your items – no need for panic when you realize you forgot your eraser.
  • Keep calm. Nerves can cause mistakes. Breathing deeply and relying on your preparedness will slow your heart rate.
  • Read each question slowly, or even read it twice.
  • Start with the easy questions first. Answering the questions you know may calm the nerves and give you confidence on harder questions.
  • Use the process of elimination to help find the answer. Even if you have to guess, guessing between 2 or 3 answers gives you a better chance than guessing between 4 or 5.
  • Double check your answers.
  • If you really don’t know the answer, go with your gut.
  • Answer every question. If you’re not penalized for a guess, who knows, you may get it right!
  • Keep an eye on the clock. You never want to go back to the questions you had to skip with only a few minutes to go.
  • Don’t worry about everyone else. You can be the first or last to finish. As long as you have done the best you can.
  • If you must change an answer, do so only after being sure your first answer was wrong. And be sure to erase the old answer completely.

With good preparation, we know you’ll ace that test. Good luck!

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The Academy for Addiction Professionals is a leading addiction professional training center and an approved education provider for both the Florida Certification Board (FCB) and NAADAC. We offer interactive in-class (South Florida Location) and online training courses for the Certified Addiction Professional (CAP), Certified Addiction Counselor (CAC), Certified Behavioral Health Technician (CBHT) and Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS) levels of certification as well as Continuing Education and Professional Development programs.